Recruit Like a Champion

Champions do not become champions when they win the event, but in the hours, weeks, months and years they spend preparing for it. The victorious performance itself is merely the demonstration of their championship character.     – T. Alan Armstrong

Those who know me will quickly tell you that one of my key characteristics is that I am an inherently competitive person.  As an adult, my competitive drive isn’t focused necessarily on “beating” another person, but rather on the more productive goal of “beating” my personal best effort and achieving my ultimate potential.  Some things I excel in and some I’m dismal in… for example, I’m not a good runner, I’m a terrible dancer, and I have absolutely no skill whatsoever as an artist.  I was not born to do any of those things apparently!  I am, however, an exceptional recruiter.  I know with certainty that recruitment is my life’s work and thus I simply cannot accept lackluster results! So with that mindset, and a commitment to perform my work as a Champion, it is not easy for me to realize in my core that I’ve lost an A-level player to a competitor for a “technicality” so to speak.

I can live with someone declining an offer I’ve worked hard to get for them if the job is just flat-out not the right and best opportunity for them.  What’s hard to stomach is the A-level player that is genuinely excited about an opportunity with I’ve presented but that then loses their interest due to having to wait around for weeks and months while the client makes the hiring decision. By the time the client gets all the levels of approvals lined up to approve an offer, the A-level player has lost enthusiasm and is almost always reviewing several other offer letters.

Candidate evaluation does take time.  Approval processes also are a necessary part of hiring.  But how we treat people during the process can really make a difference.

The sooner our hiring teams recognize this important fact and start treating top talent less like “run of the mill” ordinary Joe’s and more like the person that could truly be your next Game-changer, the better off your recruitment results and your company’s results will be.  Champion athletes don’t give half-efforts, they go all-out.  In today’s competitive business world, why should your recruitment efforts be approached with anything less than all-out, Champion-level intensity?

Parting thoughts..

Have you thought about the hidden cost of letting your competition hire the A-level candidates while your company’s hiring process lethargy or inefficiency forces your department to settle for the less than stellar talent?  Don’t you personally want to work on an A-team?  I know I do.  I think most of us recognize talent when we see it (it’s kinda hard to miss…) and being a part of something special holds allure for us all.  We all need money, and financial compensation is certainly important, but wouldn’t you agree that you’d take a little less if you were able to work with the best and brightest as opposed to the B-team?  My experience is that some of the richest career moments have more to do with a cohesive, butt-kicking awesome team that is a true pleasure to work alongside than any other factor.  The reality is that the power to attract the A-players is largely within our control.

So make it personal.  Evaluate the talent carefully and once you realize that you have the A-level player you really need.  (Refer to my entry on Attracting Top Talent. ) think creatively and move quickly to bring them on board!

See you in the winner’s circle!

Lauren Goodson, Founder and President of Cornerstone Recruitment Group and Career Expert Academy  is a nationally renowned expert in Job Search Strategies, Career Coaching and Hiring for the Professional audience. She has helped thousands of job seekers to achieve their potential and grow their career.  Through ,  Lauren has redefined professional job search training by establishing an all-in-one resource for extensive and exceptional expert information.  Be sure to visit for more info.


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